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RE: [mythsoc] Re: Nazi Tosh

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  • Jay Hershberger
    SL: I watched that show. It was a sort of discussion panel. Greer physically shuddered at the very idea of LOTR. Her objection (as I understood it) is the
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 7 2:39 PM
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      SL: I watched that show. It was a sort of discussion
      panel. Greer physically shuddered at the very idea of
      LOTR. Her objection (as I understood it) is the very
      idea of Evil: the bad guys in LOTR are painted as
      *totally* evil, and the demonising and dehumanising of
      others in this way is essentially fascistic and the
      cause of dreadful ethnic conflicts as seen in Bosnia
      and Rwanda.

      JH: It is difficult to take Germaine Greer seriously, since, by her own
      admission, she never read Tolkien. It seems obvious that if one is going to
      critique a piece of literature, one first needs to read it. Her refusal to
      do so says a lot about her own closedness to new--or old--ideas.

      I once played a recital that included some late Beethoven. I introduced the
      work with some references to the profound and sublime direction that his
      late music took, after he had been liberated from the hearing world. I was
      trounced at the reception afterwards by an English professor who pronounced
      to me that the words profound and sublime were meaningless words, used only
      by those whose understanding of language was shallow and misguided. It was
      time for me to come into the 20th century, so she said.

      Perhaps Ms. Greer long ago lost the ability to experience wonder and joy,
      the "eucatastrophe" (sp?) that Tolkien mentioned in one of his essays.
      Regardless, even she cannot escape her own reasoning. For, if the conflicts
      in Bosnia and Rwanda are indeed dreadful--they are, of course--then her
      saying so shows she has a sense of Evil, and that such dreadfulness is
      dehumanising after all. It seems to me that Tolkien can help us to maintain
      contact with the consequences of evil in a way that is in some ways more
      palpable than much of the documentary material that informs us of
      atrocities.

      Cheers,

      Jay Hershberger
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